PLAYER RATINGS | Lyon 3-0 Valenciennes: Lacazette’s double leads Lyon to the Coupe de France Final

Lyon were hoping to keep their Coupe de France dreams alive as they hosted Ligue 2 Valenciennes in the semi finals of the competition. Whereas, Valenciennes were looking to make history and take their cup run one step further to the final. 

The first half of the match was a rather cagey encounter. Unsurprisingly, OL dominated possession and looked to force the issue early on given the divisional quality between the two sides, but their efforts came to no avail. Ernest Nuamah perhaps had Lyon’s best chance of the first half as his low driven effort whistled narrowly wide. However, it was Valenciennes who came the closest to scoring. Knockaert burst free after stealing the ball from O’Brien and managed to tee up Doucouré, who put the ball in the back of the net. Although, Valenciennes’ celebrations were soon brought to a halt as Knockaert was adjudged to have fouled O’Brien. It remained goalless at the break. 

In the second half, Lyon made their dominance count. Lacazette was pulled down in the area and Frappart awarded the penalty. The OL captain made no mistake from the spot and powered the ball into the roof of the net to give Lyon the lead. With Lyon growing in confidence, Lacazette soon doubled his tally and their lead. Benrahma’s cross was driven across the box and the former Arsenal made no mistake as he quickly shifted the ball away from his marker before rifling it into the bottom corner. Les Gones were cruising. 

The man who replaced Lacazette, Gift Orban, would then make it 3-0 to Lyon. Benrahma was heavily involved once again as he played a through ball to Orban who tapped the ball home with aplomb to confirm OL’s place in the Coupe de France final. The Nigerian had a glorious opportunity in the final minute to score his second as he blasted over from less than six yards but it wouldn’t matter with Lyon three goals to the good. 

Lyon player ratings: 

Lucas Perri – 6, The deputising keeper was left with rather little to do with Lyon’s dominance, especially in the second half. Nevertheless, the Brazillian stopper will gain confidence from the experience as he looks ahead to life without Anthony Lopes at OL. 

Clinton Mata – 5

Duje Ćaleta-Car – 6

Jake O’Brien – 5

Nicolás Tagliafico – 6

Nemanja Matić – 6

Maxence Caqueret – 6

Orel Mangala – 6

Ernest Nuamah – 6

Alexandre Lacazette – 8, Leading by example. Despite a far from vintage Lyon performance, their captain was able to come up with the goods. Lacazette showed why he is still one of the best strikers in Ligue 1 with his run and positioning before winning the penalty. In addition, the fashion in which he took his goals were exemplary of a marksman at the top of his game. 

Saïd Benrahma – 7, Creative chief. With creativity lacking from both sides on the night, Benrahma was responsible for the finite amount of openings presented to Lyon in the opening hour. He played a superb pass for Lacazette to win the penalty and an even better cross to tee the OL captain up for his second. The Algerian international is quickly becoming a key player for Les Gones. 

GFFN | Liam Wraith

 

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